FG Electrifies 15 Varsities With 35MW Solar Grids

The Federal Government has disclosed that it has electrified no fewer than 15 federal universities and teaching hospitals with hybrid solar grids with a combined capacity of 35.5 megawatts.

The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency, Abba Aliyu, stated this at the just-concluded Alliance for Rural Electrification Energy Access Forum in Lagos.

Aliyu disclosed that the aim was to supply 24-hour electricity to 350,000 students while giving 50,000 lecturers access to electricity.

He explained that the Nigeria Electrification Project, funded by the World Bank and the African Development Bank, was a $550m project.

One of the universities, he said, included the University of Maiduguri and its teaching, where a 12MW solar grid was installed.

Others are the University of Abuja; the Federal University, Yobe; the Federal University of Calabar and its teaching hospital; the Nigerian Defence Academy; the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta; the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, and others.

The REA boss maintained that the projects in those academic institutions would be launched by the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, in the next two months.

He added that similar projects were ongoing at the University of Port Harcourt; the University of Uyo; the Federal University of Technology, Owerri; the Federal University of Technology, Akure; the Federal University, Lafia; Modibbo Adama University, Yola, and the Federal University, Lokoja.

“The University of Maiduguri’s project is one of the biggest ever done in this country. This is powering the entire university and the only teaching hospital in the entire geopolitical zone. It is also supplying electricity to the water treatment plant in Borno State. This is a 12MW project that is almost completed, and it will be commissioned by the minister in the next two months.

“These projects are going to impact 350,000 students with 24-hour electricity supply. It will also provide over 50,000 lecturers with access to electricity,” Aliyu stated.

He added that over 150 mini-grids had been deployed across the country, with 100 50-kilowatt containerised mini-grids across about 100 health institutions.

He stated that the agency would also launch an interconnected mini-grid of about 1MW to serve 6,000 households in Ondo State.

On complaints that projects executed by the REA did not have a national spread, Aliyu reacted, “The challenge is enormous. No matter the intervention that REA does, you hardly see it until we can scale up to a more significant level. No matter what we do, until we start deploying mini-grids in thousands, that is when we can address this. We are still in the hundreds”.

President Bola Tinubu had approved a $750m World Bank loan for the construction of 1,200 mini-grids in rural communities across the country.

According to Aliyu, Tinubu approved the fund for distributed access through a renewable energy scale-up project, which is aimed at providing energy access to Nigerians in rural communities.

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